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Controversy over hunger-strike art in Athlone (VIDEO)

Athlone councillor Mark Cooney has brought a motion calling for the removal of artist Shane Cullen’s work from an art gallery in the town. The Daily Shift’s Declan Ryan reports… 


Athlone town councilor Mark Cooney has brought forward a motion to remove artwork depicting letters of H-Block hunger strikers at last night’s council meeting. The motion requested that the state-owned painting ‘Fragments sur les Institutions Républicaines IV’ by the artist Shane Cullen, be removed on the grounds that it is offensive. The views of Cllr. Cooney are expressed in the clip below:

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Hogan led the argument against the motion, on the grounds that it is against the Constitution and Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights. The vote resulted in a majority of the Councillors voting in favour of the art work being removed. A compromise was reached, with the independent art board established by the council to write a report regarding the piece’s legitimacy and to offer that decision to the council.

Many of the town’s artists assembled in the gallery of the council chambers. Artist Shane Cullen offers his opinion of the council’s decision, which can be viewed below:

*Lead image via Wikimedia Commons
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Man of many hobbies.

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